Man takes plea deal in assault on marcher in deadly rally

Battle lines form between white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right' and anti-fascist counter-protesters during the 'Unite the Right' rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images (Getty Images)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A Virginia man has taken a plea deal in connection with an assault on a marcher in last year's deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Daily Progress reports that 52-year-old Donald Blakney was originally charged with felony malicious wounding but took a plea deal Tuesday that downgraded that charge to misdemeanor assault.

He received a suspended sentence of 12 months.

Prosecutors said Blakney hit Eric Mattson on the back of the head with a cane during the August 2017 Unite the Right rally. Mattson, of Arkansas, testified that he's a member of the Hiwaymen, a conservative group that attends protests across the country.

Blakney told police he was angry after being subjected to verbal assault, spit on and threatened. He expressed remorse when told about Mattson's injuries.